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Tips for Taking and Studying for Your Driver's Test

Taking your driver’s test is one of the biggest and most exciting milestones in your life, but it can be one of the scariest, too. With so many rules to remember, many new drivers panic before the exam. To help you out, here are a few easy tips from

Practice Like Perfect

Nobody is perfect, but your driving can come pretty close. Although it can be easy to cut corners and break the rules when there’s no pressure, rolling stops and broken speed limits can quickly become bad habits. Treating every practice drive like the real test will help you perfect your skills and have confidence going into the test both key components in passing. If you know where you’ll be testing, it’s especially beneficial to practice on those roads.

Respond to Criticism

Learning to drive is nerve wracking, so having your instructor stomp on the invisible brake from the passenger seat is far from a confidence booster (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there). However, with more years of driving experience, it’s important to listen and respond to your instructor’s recommendations (even if they come in the form of holding on to the seat for dear life). As you approach the test date, ask a licensed driver to critique or grade each ride as if he or she was your test examiner. Simulating the test and all of its parts beforehand (parking, stopping, turning, changing lanes, even being critiqued) will help you feel more relaxed on the day of the test.

Know Your Car

Make sure you take your driver’s test in the car you typically drive or are most comfortable in. Just like the comfort you get wearing your favorite t-shirt,  it’s  the same with cars. Studying and remembering where each part of your car is and what it does is a crucial part of the test, even though it seems like the easiest. Before the test begins, it’s a good idea to already have your mirrors and seats adjusted to your needs. You should also make sure your car is up to par with all safety standards prior to the test.

Don’t Focus on Mistakes

If you make a mistake, it’s important to move on and focus on the road ahead. Concentrating on a slip up made early in the test can lead to more problems throughout the exam. This is one of the most common mistakes new drivers make. Worrying about something that already happened can’t change the outcome of the exam, but paying attention and driving carefully for the rest of it can.

Study Your Learner’s Manual

Even though you’ve already passed the written portion of your permit exam, it’s a good idea to review your learner’s manual again. Being confident in the rules of the road will give you an advantage in the practical portion and remind you of things you may have otherwise forgotten.

Don’t Bring Distractions

It might go without saying, but bringing your phone or other distractions to the exam is never a good idea. Even if you don’t plan on picking up your phone, hearing it ring or vibrate can cause you to lose focus and distract your examiner. It’s also recommended that you turn off your radio and any other devices during the exam for the same reason.


Getting your driver’s license is a big deal, and practicing safe driving is an even bigger deal. Following the rules and focusing throughout all your practices is the easiest way for you to do both. 

Before you get behind the wheel, don’t forget to contact an Erie Insurance agent about the auto coverage that is right for you. There are discounts available for teen drivers if you’re on your parent’s auto policy and if you take a professional driver’s training course. Your agent will be able to walk you through these options.

There are also helpful tips for parents with soon-to-be and current teen drivers in the blog series “Bittersweet Sixteen.” 

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.